‘Pro’: Bradley “Enzoe” Churchill
Profession: Counter-Strike Professional, Twitch Streamer
“Do it because you enjoy it, do it because you want to do it.” – Brad “Enzoe” Churchill
In the world of professional sports, athletes all around the world train and grow stronger, faster and better to compete at the highest level to vie for the most expensive and prestigious of prizes and awards. In electronic sports, or eSports for short, this is no different.
Video game players across the globe compete daily to try to become the best in their respective eSport titles. This project aims to find Australia’s brightest and best upcoming professional players, managers, coaches, streamers and content creators to see how the other side lives, in the hope of encouraging others to pursue their dreams of going ‘pro’ in the world of eSports.
This project hopes to show that video gamers can make a living out of playing games, just like anyone else. As a retired professional Call of Duty player myself, I can safely say that my years as a pro were the most fun, exciting and intense moments of my life so far, and I wouldn’t have changed a thing. This is the ‘Pro’ Project, welcome to our world.
Volume 1 of the ‘Pro’ Project features professional streamer Brad “Enzoe” Churchill, to provide some insight into the world of streaming and professional gaming. Through his words, he will attempt to prove that if you want to make something out of gaming, then you just have to have the passion, this story is one of passion. He was once a very strong and deadly player, until he had to give all of that up to work a full time schedule, which left him little to no time to go ‘pro’ or stream like he does now.
“Do it because you enjoy it, do it because you want to do it not because you want to make a quick buck and not because you want people to know who you are. If you get into something for the wrong reason it is blatantly obvious and people aren’t going to stick around. It’s like when you go to the shop and get given shit service by the cashier; you know and they know they don’t want to be there and the same thing applies to you when you’re doing something you don’t want to do. If it feels like a second job or a chore, take a break and re-think what you are doing. You have to be passionate and ready to put in hours and hours with no reward, trolls, hate and bullshit until you hit a point where it all starts coming together, and those hours you have put in result in reward and you have people that appreciate what you do and you love what you do,” he said.
Enzoe still works a full time schedule to this day, but due to working earlier hours, he has more time to live stream and play video games at a professional level. Working exclusively full time just wasn’t for him, as he now plays video games for hours every single day in addition to his work schedule. He is currently a live streamer on Twitch, and a member of the Australian organisation Just a Minute (JAM) Gaming, as one of their primary streamers.
“I started gaming before I can even remember, having older siblings is what really got me into gaming. It wasn’t until I was around eight years old that I was introduced to Counter-Strike and immediately I was hooked. A few years pass of mostly playing Counter-Strike: Source (CS:S) and I can’t play sport as much due to chronic pain, being a competitive person with an addictive personality I decide to get into playing competitive CS:S. At this point I was around 13 to 14, in which I played for three years competitively until I pursued a full time job,” he said.
“The biggest struggle has been returning in 2016 to CS and coming back to a completely different game to what Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) was when it first dropped and in all honestly struggling to pick it back up. Even after putting in 2000 hours to CS:GO, I’m still nowhere near where I desire to be. With that being said though, CS is clearly my favourite game and helps me with my struggles with depression and anxiety as another way to escape reality.”
Enzoe desires to become a professional player for one of Australia’s best teams, to compete against the top teams around the world for world championship titles. However his passion has recently changed to where he really enjoys streaming on Twitch over pursuing his professional career. He recently got updated to Subscriber status, in which viewers can pay Enzoe money for special rewards and exclusivities.
“I currently just play CS to stream, streaming adds another dimension to the game and makes it so much more enjoyable. To think you have people watching you play rather than playing, interacting with you from all over the world it blows my mind. You develop this different feel for the game and develop a personality for streaming to be more entertaining, to give people something to be intrigued by; after all your aim is to entertain and that’s how you get more people watching whether people like this or not all publicity is good publicity,” he said.
“Currently I’m trying to stream daily but working full time can make this a hard task to achieve so weekdays I can be limited to 3-5 hours streaming a day and weekends I can stream anywhere from 6 hours to 14 hours in a day. I don’t really have a set schedule, I just show up and so to my viewers. I’m so blown away by what I have been able to achieve streaming in such a short time that I never expected to even be streaming for this long. I thought it was just something that would pass like most of the hobbies I try to pick up because I get bored with them so quickly.”
Making a living from doing your dream job, such as playing a game professionally, streaming the game on Twitch or uploading gaming videos to YouTube, would be any passionate gamers’ ultimate goal. Does Enzoe believe it is possible for professional gamers and streamers to make a living? It is a difficult task, but with passion like his he can make any dream a reality, and so can others.
“I’d love to be able to make a living from what I love doing, just by watching my stream and how I treat my viewers you’ll notice straight away I’m not in it for the money but if I could live from it I’m not going to lie and say no it’s not a dream,” he said.
Enzoe said there were pros and cons to gaming at his level, but the hours of grinding were worth it. The changes to lifestyle and work ethic would be a challenge, but nonetheless he recommends that if you are passionate enough, anyone could live stream or play video games professionally.
“I enjoy interacting with so many different people from around the world, talking to people with different opinions, beliefs and building my own community; it’s a strange but humbling feeling to know you have people waiting for you to go live and to talk to you,” he said.
“I don’t really dislike anything about streaming, you take the good with the bad and realise it’s a massive grind. It isn’t going to happen overnight, it’s literally going to take thousands of hours of doing it just to have a small chance of getting a fraction of the success that some are lucky enough to get.”